How to Choose the Right Climbing Rope

How to Choose the Right Climbing Rope

You’ve got your climbing shoes. You’ve got your harness. Now you need to pick the best climbing rope.

Your rope is one of the essential pieces of climbing gear. Choosing the wrong one can be detrimental.

Let’s get into the tips you need to know.

Types of Climbing Ropes

Dynamic and static are the two, main types of climbing ropes.

A dynamic rope naturally stretches to absorb your impact if and when you fall. Static ropes, on the other hand, don’t stretch much at all, which can be efficient for ascending ropes or lowering injured climbers.

If you’re top roping or lead climbing, you’ll need a dynamic rope. Of dynamic ropes, there are three choices.

Half Ropes

Interested in mountaineering and ice climbing? You’ll want to consider a half rope. With this rope system, you use two ropes.

As you ascend, you clip one rope on your left, and the other on your right. Both ropes run parallel to each other.

They can help reduce drag, and they can technically allow you to move twice as far than you would be able to with a single rope.

They are intended to use as a matching pair. Don’t mix-and-match different brands.

Twin Ropes

People also use twin ropes for mountaineering and ice climbing. They are less bulky than a half rope system. With twin ropes, you clip both ropes through each piece of protection.

Like half ropes, you need to use a matching pair.

Single Ropes

They come in a variety of lengths and diameters. That means they are flexible enough to use for a variety of different climbs.

These are recommended for  climbing, top roping, and trad climbing. Most climbers prefer these ropes.

Static Ropes

Static ropes work best for caving, hauling loads and supplies, and climbing fixed lines. Again, you do not use static ropes for top roping or lead climbing!


Static Rope


Climbing Rope Diameter

Skinner ropes weigh less. However, they can be less durable. Most climbers use 9.5-9.9 mm single ropes for outdoor trad and  climbing.

If you engage in big-wall climbing or frequent top roping, you may want a single rope 100mm and above.

Climbing Rope Length

Dynamic ropes can range anywhere between 30-80 mm. Most climbers use a rope in the 60 mm range.

If you’re climbing outdoors, you need a rope that’s long enough for half its length to be equal or greater than the route you are climbing.

Are you climbing indoors? A 35mm should cover most indoor routes.

Safety Ratings

The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) evaluates ropes for safety standards. They test ropes to determine how many falls they can take before failing. All single ropes and half ropes must pass a minimum of 5 falls.

That said, you should always inspect your gear before every single climb.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to selecting your climbing rope, you need to consider the type of climbing you do. You also need to know when to retire climbing rope.

Need to find your personal preferences for gear and brands. We’ve got you covered. Check out our inventory today.


Butora Acro Climbing Shoes